Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sex & Nudity

I take my clothes off in the privacy of the bathroom where no one will be able to see my nakedness. I don't even like looking at my own nudity. I'm no prude, far from it, but when it comes to displaying my overabundant flesh I am shy. Well, maybe mortified is closer to the right feeling. My body looks nothing like the ones I see in magazines. I could be the "before" on a makeover show if they had a Ms. Nude Makeover series on TV - too much jiggle and wiggle and a whole lot of sag.


One would think that wearing a size six would qualify me for at least a second or third-rate magazine centerfold, but no way. In fact, my body doesn't look all that different than it did forty pounds ago, just a smaller version of the same bulges and flaws. So when my guy is feeling frisky and starts getting romantic, I want the lights dimmed, or better yet, off entirely. Then I can prance around in my sexiest nightie and not feel so intimidated.

Body image & great sex seem to go hand in hand. I would love the freedom to run around naked in the house but that's more than I can handle. It's the norm for women to be dissatisfied with their bodies. Much to my chagrin, the standard of attractiveness is a youthful and slender body which creates pressure for anyone overweight or aging.

In a survey of over 300 women, ranging in age from 35 to 55, the results provide a sober look at the way women view their bodies. Nearly 21% of the people surveyed could not think of even one attractive feature and reported an overall sense of dissatisfaction with their bodies. Men also fret about what they perceive are male physical shortcomings but to a much lesser extent than women.
So what should we do when our mate wants to get naked and the very thought scares us? It's time to turn to those self-help books on improving our body image. Here are some hints on how to begin which came from Lifescript.com:
  • Write an “I Like Myself Because…” ListFirst, write down 10 things that you like about yourself without referring to your body or appearance in any way. Include things that you’re good at, or various ways you’re proud of yourself. Then, after this list is done, make another list of 10 things you like about your body and appearance. Depending on your level of self-loathing, this might be hard to do at first, but just do your best and add to the list later when you think of something else
  • Take a Closer Look at NatureGo outside and find something in nature – a flower, leaf, twig, grass blade, or anything that catches your eye. Is it perfect? Or does it have irregular edges, rough sides and blemishes here and there? Chances are that it is imperfect, yet it is still so amazing and complex. Nature is beautiful despite its “failure” to be perfect. Take this wisdom and use it on yourself – you are imperfect, yet you are also beautiful.
  • Undo Negative Self-TalkEvery time you hear yourself talking negatively about how you look, spend an equal amount of time giving yourself positive feedback. Your worst critic is yourself, which means only you can change that. You do have the power to focus on the positive, change your own state of mind and trash negative self-talk whenever it pops up.
  • Learn to Love ExerciseEveryone should exercise, and not necessarily just for weight loss. Regular exercise improves heart and lung health, and therefore benefits the rest of the body, increasing muscle endurance, circulation and overall body health. It is the road to a more toned you. If you don’t really like to exercise in the gym, explore your many other options for being physically active, like learning how to play like a kid again.
  • Splurge on YourselfYou might not look like a Victoria's Secret model (and who does?), but sexy lingerie can make you feel better about yourself. Select a nightie that feels good against your skin and flatters your curves. It doesn't have to be too short or too revealing. Light some candles in the bathroom before you slip it on and you will feel better about slipping into the arms of your waiting mate who loves you for who you are, not who you aren't.


What do you do when it is time to get naked? We'd love to hear your story.

15 comments:

Karen said...

I have never been a very "comfortable in my own skin" person, even at my thinnest. I admire my husband who stand at the bathroom sink, naked, as he shaves.

midlife_swimmer said...

great post! I have the hardest time being naked...even alone.

Lucy said...

This is such a great post. I love it.

Thank you.

I am lucky that despite my (actually very apparent) flaws, when it comes down to it, I think I feel as gorgeous as Cindy Crawford.....as long as the lingerie is on and the canfles are lit......

Debbie said...

I can relate to this post. I have a really hard time getting naked in front of my hubby. I like the lights out or at least dimmed. Now he tells me even after 18 years he loves every dimple. I think he needs glasses myself..

Genie @ Diet of 51 said...

Good question, but hard to think about it. I'm much more OK with my own nakedness when I'm about ten pounds less....

When I'm gaining, I avoid looking at myself in the bathroom mirror in the various stages of undress.

Linda Pressman said...

Great post, Ellen, and, of course, I can relate. First of all, I try not to look too closely or for too long! Being an avid exerciser there are some things I can really admire about my body (my abs) and others that have always filled me with dismay (my spider veins). Funny thing is, frisky husband thinks I'm the most gorgeous sexy thing he's ever seen. Weird. My secret that I'm not.

Nancy said...

I'm fat, but I'm comfortable in my own skin especially around my hubby. 21 years of him lusting me is enough to let me know I look pretty good to him, ha ha! Its when I go out in the world, dressed fully that I feel most vulnerable.

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River said...

Thank you! Beatiful post. I needed that. I'm writing down a list in my head. I'll keep repeating it once a day. At least.

P.S. Even Jillian Michaels keeps saying she prefers candle light in the bedroom and nothing more. Creates beautiful shadows and it's perfect for the mood and all :)

River said...

Oh geez with the P.S. I forgot to add don't turn the lights off completely. Leave room to turn it back on. ♥

Christina said...

Great post! I always check my self out in the mirror (when naked). I like to see my weight loss, and I like to check for the mysterious bruises and cuts that I always get. I feel comfortable naked and even take showers with my munchkin. If there were a man in my life, I probably wouldn't feel so body-confident. I'm young (22), but my body really isn't looking to great. I noticed while doing yoga the other day that I have big wrinky spots on my thighs when I lean forward. If I could trade in my thighs and my belly (and maybe my boobs), I'd be totally happy. Frequent exercise (including lifting) has done nothing for those parts of my body. :(

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Mimi said...

Oh Ellen! You always make us think!! I am a master of clothing camouflage and I don't do nudity well. Thanks for the tips!

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